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Netafim South Africa celebrates 25 years!

22 Aug 2017

When Naty Barak opened Netafim South Africa's doors in 1992 he had one employee, Johan Visser. Levy Schneider was appointed as the company’s first managing director the following year. Netafim South Africa's first core crops at the time were wine, tomatoes and melons.

Naty, who is now chief sustainability officer at Netafim Headquarters in Israel, describes the beginning years as both difficult and easy. “It was difficult because we introduced a new technology which was a real revolution: irrigating trees and other crops with a slow flow of drops of water next to the trees. It was challenging because we faced many technical challenges with the products and technology. We had to find answers to the challenges, develop manufacturing processes, and design and engineering methods, overcome water delivery issues and more. But in a sense it was also easy because we believed in the system and had support from the community. Looking back at the early years we never took huge risks. We always calculated our steps carefully.”

Netafim started as a kibbutz business in Israel,so they adhered to the values and principals of a kibbutz, Naty says. “We always invested only within our capabilities. During Netafim’s early years we employed only members from our kibbutz.” These employees shared horizontal responsibilities, so one worker would be responsible for sales in acertain region in Israel, manage an export territory and work one shift a week in the production line."

Source: First published in Wineland Magazine, July 2017, written by Wanda Augustyn.

Watch our 25 year celebration video here or download the full article:

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